“If you’re paying good money for wine, you should be able to taste the grapes,” said The Firm Chairman Rich Frank, explaining his decision to serve his 2003 Napa Valley Chardonnay at room temperature. “The worse the grapes, the colder the wine.”
Of course, no one was paying for the wine this evening. Frank took over the cozy BevHills Rat Pack joint La Dolce Vita for a private dinner to introduce his new Frank Family Vineyards releases to a select group of industry friends. The Frank family turned out in full force, including Rich’s wife Connie, son Darryl (the co-head of Dreamworks TV) and son Paul (head of The Firm TV). La Dolce Vita owners Al Uzielli and Dave Simmer co-hosted the event.
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The vino-loving crowd dined on linguini alle scampi, veal cannelloni, New York steak and chocolate tartuffo. They got a sneak taste of Frank’s debut pinot noir, a 2004 reserve, which won’t be released until next spring. Frank also treated the crowd to a rare taste of his port. Only 50 cases were made, and, according to winemaker Todd Graff, “You can’t get it.” But Frank admitted, “I snuck five bottles out of the house.”
Also among the tasters were president of 20th Century Fox Gary Newman and his attorney wife, Jeanne Newman, who recently purchased their own Santa Ynez vineyard, Jorree Hill; Comedy Central and Spike TV president Doug Herzog; Paramount TV distribution president Joel Berman; UTA agent Brett Hansen; and USA Network VP Libby Hansen.